Thursday, January 21, 2010
Customer service is very important to me. I will not frequent restaurants that consistently have poor customer service. I know that Jack in the Box is a Fast Food establishment but I expect to be treated pleasantly when I do decided to spend my hard earned money there. It is a rough economy and when we decided to eat out (yes, even fast food) it is a treat. I am not asking for top notch service, nor do I expect it, but I do expect some level of service and professionalism.
We have 2 Jack in the Box locations close to our home and we used to go to the one just slightly farther away because it seemed nicer and the staff was more pleasant but lately we have going to the one closer to save on unnecessary driving. Over the past few months we have noticed that the level of service from the staff has been going down hill. This weekend was the last straw.
We went to the restaurant around 6:43PM. There was a lady in front of us waiting to order and one couple seated waiting for their food to arrive. Other than that the place was empty since it was after the dinner rush. When we walked in we noticed that there was a loud beeping sound that appeared to be coming from the smoothie machine on the counter behind the cashier.
There was only one cashier, according to my receipt her name was Kyra. She seemed to be trying to manage not only the counter but organizing things at the same time. She started to come to the counter to take the order of the lady in front of us when the manager (did not get her name because she was not wearing a tag) yelled at her to fill the machine and make it stop beeping. Kyra motioned towards us and said that there were guests. The manager told her to let them wait and fill the machine so that it does not shut off because when it shuts off you have to clean it and "I'm not going to clean it".
Now, I am not in the service industry but a few basic (or what I would assume as basic) customer service rules seem to have been broken here:
1. You should not yell at your staff in front of customers. It makes you all look bad and it makes us uncomfortable to hear it.
2. Don't leave guests waiting. We contemplated walking out but my daughter was tired, I was starving and I did not want to drive to another place.
3. Yes, you are the manager but you can help out. You did not look that busy, you could have filled the machine.
Also, and I think this is a biggie, How often is that machine cleaned? It is a smoothie machine therefore milk products are run through it. I realize that it is refrigerated but I would still think that it needs to be cleaned regularly.
So Kyra climbed up and filled the machine while we all waited and then hopped down and started taking orders. We placed our order (to go) around 6:50 (we waited just shy of 10 minutes just to place our order) and tried to entertain our daughter while waited for it to arrive. Since we were going for fast food, I did not pack any toys for her to play with so I did my best to keep her from running around the store (she is only 1) and disturbing the 2 other people that were in there.
Our order finally came up on a tray, we reminded Kyra that it was to go and she placed it in a bag. We were not offered any ketchup or dipping sauce. We were just happy to finally get our food. We made our way out to the car where I checked the order for accuracy. I noticed that we were missing an order of tacos that my husband ordered so I left him and my daughter in the car and ran back in with the bag and our receipt. I went to the counter and the manager looked right at me but ignored me. After a little bit Kyra came back to the counter and I told her I was missing the order of tacos, she called back to the manager that she needed an order of tacos. I asked for some ranch and she said sure but then turned and walked to the back never to be seen again. I waited for the manager to make the tacos and when she brought them up I thanked her. Her response to me was "Yeah". No "your welcome", no "no problem", no "sorry we forgot it in the first place", just yeah. I opened my mouth to ask for the ranch when she turned and walked away from me. I did not want to bother her so I just took my food and left.
I looked at the clock when I got to the car, it was 7:07. It took us 25 minutes to order and get our food that does not seem very fast to me. I could understand waiting that long for food if you were slammed but the inside of the restaurant was practically empty and there were not that many cars in the drive through.
Maybe the manager was having a bad day but if you are not happy with your job, look for another one. I am sure there are hundreds of people (State officials say that there are more than 334,000 people unemployed and looking for work.) that would be more than happy to take yours, especially with Washington's unemployment on the rise (currently 9.5%, the highest in the state since 1984).
This experience will not make me stop going to Jack in the Box, I love their breakfast for dinner too much for that. However, I will not visit this location again. I will drive the extra mile to the other location.